Development of the QuickDASH: COmparison of three item-reduction approaches

Dorcas E. Beaton, James G. Wright, Jeffrey N. Katz, Peter Amadio, Claire Bombardier, Donald Cole, Aileen Davis, Pam Hudak, Robert Marx, Gillian Hawker, Matti Makela, Laura Punnett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

919 Scopus citations


Background: The purpose of this study was to develop a short, reliable, and valid measure of physical function and symptoms related to upper-limb musculoskeletal disorders by shortening the full, thirty-item DASH (Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand) Outcome Measure. Methods: Three item-reduction techniques were used on the cross-sectional field-testing data derived from a study of 407 patients with various upper-limb conditions. These techniques were the concept-retention method, the equidiscriminative item-total correlation, and the item response theory (Rasch modeling). Three eleven-item scales were created. Data from a longitudinal cohort study in which the DASH questionnaire was administered to 200 patients with shoulder and wrist/hand disorders were then used to assess the reliability (Cronbach alpha and test-retest reliability) and validity (cross-sectional and longitudinal construct) of the three scales. Results were compared with those derived with the full DASH. Results: The three versions were comparable with regard to their measurement properties. All had a Cronbach alpha of ≥0.92 and an intraclass correlation coefficient of ≥0.94. Evidence of construct validity was established (r ≥ 0.64 with single-item indices of pain and function). The concept-retention method, the most subjective of the approaches to item reduction, ranked highest in terms of its similarity to the original DASH. Conclusions: The concept-retention version is named the QuickDASH. It contains eleven items and is similar with regard to scores and properties to the full DASH. A comparison of item-reduction approaches suggested that the retention of clinically sensible and important content produced a comparable, if not slightly better, instrument than did more statistically driven approaches. Clinical Relevance: The QuickDASH is a more efficient version of the DASH outcome measure that appears to retain its measurement properties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1038-1046
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Bone and Joint Surgery - Series A
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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